Don Rendell

Donald Percy “Don” Rendell was an English jazz musician and arranger. He lived from 4 March 1926 to 20 October 2015. Rendell was the son of two musicians from Plymouth, England. He began his jazz career at age fifteen with the alto and then switched to the tenor after a few more years. Rendell began his professional career performing with big bands on U.S. bases. In 1944, he joined the Oscar Rabin band. He joined the Johnny Dankworth Seven in 1950, and remained there until 1953. Rendell left Dankworth’s company when he decided to form a large band. He began to perform as a soloist in London’s jazz clubs and started leading his own bands. These groups often included Ronnie Ross, who was a tenor. Ted Heath and Tony Crombie also worked with him. He went on tour with Stan Kenton in Europe in 1956 and played with Woody Herman’s Anglo-American Herd 1959. He also led a group that accompanied Billie Holiday while she was touring the UK. He had his own bands that featured such musicians as Graham Bond and Michael Garrick, Barbara Thompson and John Burch. He and Carr founded the Rendell-Carr Quintet in 1963. They performed and recorded for seven years. Rendell’s style is influenced a lot by Lester Young. He also has many other influences, such as John Coltrane. But almost from the start, he developed a unique style. Rendell has been a jazz educator for many years and taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama since 1984. Rendell, 89, died in London on Tuesday October 20, 2015.

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